27 Aug 2008


I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of quiche lorraine but my husband loves it, and so with this in mind, I decided to try yet another recipe. This time the recipe came from the Hairy Bikers.

We loved this quiche, it was bursting with flavour and would be perfect for feeding a crowd. It's fairly rich and so you could get away with serving small portions.

The photograph shows I have overcooked the quiche (the filling went past the 'wobble' stage), this was in part due to the recipe not being specific about the tin size - it says one large tin! I used a 23cm tin and it really only needs a 20cm tin to give a deep quiche.

A green salad to serve with the quiche, as they suggest, would be perfect. For us though it was quiche, green salad and coleslaw.

The coleslaw is a Jamie Oliver recipe and I know I will make this time and time again. Much much better than those small tubs from the supermarket. Jamie's recipe makes a huge bowlful.

18 Aug 2008


This is my entry for the Waiter, there's something in my.......picnic basket! Our host for this event is Johanna over at The Passionate Cook.
It isn't exactly picnic in the park weather in my part of the country, here in the UK. More like picnic in the car weather! Even if you wrapped up and was brave enough to set out for a picnic, you would still end up eating it in the car - the weather has either rained all day or has teased us throughout, with black clouds looming above us.

When I saw these fruit cakes I didn't really associate them with picnics - but this year, perhaps we need something more substantial to take out with us for the day.

The recipe comes from Jill Dupleix who is a food writer, she often makes television appearances here in the UK, on programmes such as Market Kitchen and Saturday Cooks. Jill's recipes can be found in food magazines and she has also written several cookbooks. In 2002 Jill received the British Cookery Journalist of the Year Award from the British Guild of Food Writers.

My food blogging friends might be interested to know that Jill did all the photography for three of her books, Simple Food, Very Simple Food and Totally Simple Food.

14 Aug 2008


To be more precise the recipe title should read - Chorizo and goat's cheese puff pastry slice with broccoli, mushroom and tomato - phew!

I couldn't get any chorizo from the butchers, and because I'm a very fussy meat eater, I replaced the chorizo with Dolcelatte cheese.

The recipe oven settings and timings are suspect. I tried the settings as suggested, even though I doubted them, and they were just too slow. The recipe settings are 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 - by all means try this - but I think you will have to turn your oven up.

The September issue of Delicious Magazine is full of wonderful recipes and this is one of Paul Merrett's, who is a professional chef. He took on an allotment, created some dishes using his produce and has written a book - Using the Plot:Tales of an Allotment Chef.

The slice was delicious.

Serves: 4

You will need:

500g good-quality puff pastry, 4 fresh chorizo sausages (I used some cubes of dolcelatte cheese), 100g (16) small broccoli florets, 8 thickly sliced button mushrooms, 120g (4 slices) goat's cheese log (skinned and broken into small pieces), 8 halved cherry tomatoes, 4 tablespoons grated Cheddar.

1. Roll out the puff pastry to a 30cm x 30cm square about 5mm thick. Cut this square of pastry into 4 smaller squares and crimp the edges with your fingers. Using a fork, prick the pastry bases. Place them on baking paper on a baking sheet, then pop them in the fridge to rest for about 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan180°C/Gas 6.
3. If you are using the chorizo sausages, skin them and break them up into bite-size chunks. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh under the cold tap.
4. Arrange the chorizo(if using), broccoli, mushrooms, goat's cheese and tomatoes on the pastry bases. Make sure that each base is evenly covered. I brushed the vegetables with olive oil, then sprinkle over the grated cheese and the Dolcelatte cheese, if using.
5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown around the edges. Serve warm.

Note: I crimped the edges of the pastry but somehow it uncrimped itself!

6 Aug 2008


Is this a cake or is it a pudding? It's both, which makes this cherry crumble cake a wonderful double act. Great to eat with either a cup of tea or coffee (in my case always the coffee option). Or, how about warming a slice in the microwave for a few seconds and then serving with a dollop of creme fraiche.

My local coffee shop is a fusion of East meets West. The West is the fabulous range of home made cakes. An entire counter bursting to the seams houses glass cakes stands on which the cakes sit, each topped with domed lids. There are butter cakes, orange butter cakes, carrot cake, Maltezer cake, bakewell tart, cherry crumble cake, Bailey's Cheesecake, friands, brownies, paradise slices, Molly cake, the list goes on and on.

The first time I used this coffee shop and saw all of these wonderful cakes, I thought my favourite cake recipes had jumped off the cookery book pages and landed in front of me, I recognized all of them.

The lady who bakes the cakes uses recipes from Australian Women's Weekly, Nigella Lawson and Annie Bell.

My friend chose the cherry crumble cake and said it was amazing. After arriving home I quickly looked up the recipe, rushed out, bought the cherries and baked this cake. Not a pretty cake as a whole but when you slice it, it then comes into it's own, just look at those beautiful cherries sitting on top of the cake layer and topped with the crumble. Another wonderful cake recipe by the very talented Annie Bell.

Annie Bell has written some wonderful cookery books and writes regularly for The Mail on Sunday's YOU Magazine.


ISBN 1856266141 - Page 50

You will need: 1 round 20cm cake tin 9cm deep with a removable base.

For the cake:

100g diced unsalted butter, 100g golden caster sugar, 1 medium egg, 90ml milk, 125g self-raising flour (sifted), ½ teaspoon baking powder, finely grated zest of 1 lemon, 250g pitted black cherries.

For the crumble:

90g plain flour, 50g golden caster sugar, ½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon, 90g chilled and diced unsalted butter, 25g organic porridge oats.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/Gas Mark 6.
2. Butter the cake tin.
3. To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then incorporate the milk, flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
4. To make the crumble, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a food processor and whizz until the mixture just starts to form large crumbs (or do this by hand). Transfer the mixture from the food processor to a bowl and stir in the oats.
5. Scatter the cherries over the surface of the cake, top with the crumble mixture and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake.

To serve: It can be served warm, about 30 minutes out of the oven, or at room temperature.